The Christmas season is upon us! For my kids, this means the anticipation of gifts. I think they begin making their lists on December 26 for the following year. They look forward to and talk about their coming gifts for months and months.
When the gifts finally arrive, they are met with various reactions—some more excited than others. But the one thing that never fails is this: After about an hour, my kids are off doing something completely not related to the very gifts they’d been anticipating all year long. Earthly gifts, though wonderful, aren’t ultimately satisfying. They leave us wanting. But there is one gift that is truly satisfying. One gift that keeps on giving. One gift that will never disappoint us, will sustain us, and is always available to us. That gift is Jesus, the Light of the World.
Isaiah prophesies of a baby who will save the world. This surprising announcement came to a rebellious people in a dark time. There was war and unrest. There was no peace to be found. The darkness was palpable, and it went beyond even the circumstances Israel found themselves in. The darkness they experienced was also spiritual; it’s a darkness we all experience before we know the Savior.
Jesus fulfills the Old Testament promises of the coming light from Isaiah 9:2: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
This was a promise of good news to Israel, as it is to us today. The Light of the World has come, and if we follow him, we will also walk in the light—we will have the light of life (1 John 1:7; John 8:12). We don’t have to fear destruction because we have been given the light and truth and will no longer walk in darkness. We can be honest and vulnerable. There’s no need to hide from Jesus—we couldn’t if we tried—for he has come to bring us light and joy.
Isaiah’s prophecy goes beyond light to victory. There will be glorious life, joy, and victory for God’s people (Isa. 9:3–5). And we receive all of this because “to us a child is born, to us a son is given” (v. 6).
The problems of ancient Israel are the same problems we have today: rebellion, war, anger, and strife. The darkness is the same. And if we understand this, it makes the gift and beauty of the light so much brighter.
We all need the hope of Christmas—the hope of a baby born to bring great light. We all need Jesus as much as ancient Israel did, as much as all of humankind does. Equally. Every single one of us. You and I need Jesus, today, tomorrow, and forevermore. Today, we can enjoy him and live with him in the light.
Trillia Newbell is the author of several books including 52 Weeks in the Word . She is the radio host of Living By Faith and the Acquisitions Director at Moody Publishers.
This article is part of The Eternal King Arrives, a 4-week devotional to help individuals, small groups, and families journey through the 2023 Advent season . Learn more about this special issue that can be used Advent, or any time of year at http://orderct.com/advent.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.